Richard Schair, US Businessman, Accused of Running Amazon Fishing & Child Sex Tour
Four Brazilian women filed suit in a US federal court against an American fishing tour operator accused of coercing them with alcohol, drugs and the promise of money in exchange for performing sex acts with tourists on a boat on the Amazon River.
According to the Associated Press, Richard Schair, who until 2009 ran Wet-A-Line Tours, coercively recruited underage girls– including a 12-year-old– from an impoverished community and forced them to have sex with him and his wealthy American customers.
The lawsuit, filed in a federal court in Georgia, lists the plaintiffs as between the ages of 12 and 17 when the alleged sexual coercion took place.
Schair, who began the tours in 1998, operated week-long fishing trips aboard his boat, the Amazon Santana. He actively sought out wealthy sex tourists to come to Brazil, where the fishing degenerated into “wild parties” with underage girls fueled by drugs and sex.
Schair allegedly sent scouts into the poor community of Autazes and a nightclub on the river to recruit underage girls and to buy drugs.
“The girls, including the plaintiffs, were impoverished and the possibility of earning money on the boat was a significant inducement,” the lawsuit says.
The girls were allegedly not only forced to have sex, but also to take drugs.
“With this lawsuit, we hope to shine a spotlight on such conduct and the real harm it does to the victims, and to get justice for the victims,” John Harbin, the lawyer who filed the suit, told the AP.
Taina Bien-Aime, the executive director of the human rights group Equality Now, told the AP she hopes the suit lets American sex tour entrepreneurs that they are not beyond the reach of US law just because they are operating overseas.
Schair maintains his innocence. He told the AP that the lawsuit is a “quest by a competitor” to destroy him.
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